Several popular South Korean performers were left out of the line-up for a live year-end TV show prepared by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, amid diplomatic frictions between the two countries.
The decision has nothing to do with politics, NHK said. The live TV show lasts more than four hours and is watched by up to 40 percent of Japan’s TV audience.
Korean girl groups Kara and Girls’ Generation, as well as male group Tohoshinki (TVXQ) were present in the last year’s edition of the show.
The organizers said that the decision to strip this year’s line-up of Korean performers came after reviewing their popularity in 2012 among Japanese fans.
Asked about a possible connection with the territorial dispute between Japan and South Korea over a group of islands, the organizers insisted that it had nothing to do with their decision.
A South Korean TV show was withdrawn from Japanese TV after one of its stars expressed support for Seoul’s claim over the islets.